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Antony and Cleopatra

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Act III, Scene 11

Alexandria. CLEOPATRA’s palace.


[Enter MARK ANTONY with Attendants]

  • Antony. Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon't;
    It is ashamed to bear me! Friends, come hither:
    I am so lated in the world, that I
    Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
    Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly, 2115
    And make your peace with Caesar.
  • All. Fly! not we.
  • Antony. I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
    To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
    I have myself resolved upon a course 2120
    Which has no need of you; be gone:
    My treasure's in the harbour, take it. O,
    I follow'd that I blush to look upon:
    My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
    Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them 2125
    For fear and doting. Friends, be gone: you shall
    Have letters from me to some friends that will
    Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
    Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint
    Which my despair proclaims; let that be left 2130
    Which leaves itself: to the sea-side straightway:
    I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
    Leave me, I pray, a little: pray you now:
    Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command,
    Therefore I pray you: I'll see you by and by. 2135
    [Sits down]
    [Enter CLEOPATRA led by CHARMIAN and IRAS; EROS]
  • Eros. Nay, gentle madam, to him, comfort him.
  • Iras. Do, most dear queen. 2140
  • Eros. See you here, sir?
  • Iras. Madam, O good empress!
  • Antony. Yes, my lord, yes; he at Philippi kept
    His sword e'en like a dancer; while I struck 2150
    The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and 'twas I
    That the mad Brutus ended: he alone
    Dealt on lieutenantry, and no practise had
    In the brave squares of war: yet now—No matter.
  • Eros. The queen, my lord, the queen.
  • Iras. Go to him, madam, speak to him:
    He is unqualitied with very shame.
  • Eros. Most noble sir, arise; the queen approaches: 2160
    Her head's declined, and death will seize her, but
    Your comfort makes the rescue.
  • Antony. I have offended reputation,
    A most unnoble swerving.
  • Eros. Sir, the queen. 2165
  • Antony. O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See,
    How I convey my shame out of thine eyes
    By looking back what I have left behind
    'Stroy'd in dishonour.
  • Cleopatra. O my lord, my lord, 2170
    Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought
    You would have follow'd.
  • Antony. Egypt, thou knew'st too well
    My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings,
    And thou shouldst tow me after: o'er my spirit 2175
    Thy full supremacy thou knew'st, and that
    Thy beck might from the bidding of the gods
    Command me.
  • Antony. Now I must 2180
    To the young man send humble treaties, dodge
    And palter in the shifts of lowness; who
    With half the bulk o' the world play'd as I pleased,
    Making and marring fortunes. You did know
    How much you were my conqueror; and that 2185
    My sword, made weak by my affection, would
    Obey it on all cause.
  • Antony. Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
    All that is won and lost: give me a kiss; 2190
    Even this repays me. We sent our schoolmaster;
    Is he come back? Love, I am full of lead.
    Some wine, within there, and our viands! Fortune knows
    We scorn her most when most she offers blows.